A coalition of billionaires, millionaires, corporations, and hedge fund managers have decided that the best way to cure poverty is to fire teachers whose students don’t get higher test scores. This coalition–whose leaders include Arne Duncan, Michelle Rhee, ALEC, and others associated with corporate reform, know that it is lots cheaper to blame teachers than to do anything that will really reduce poverty.

Robert Reich may not be aware of this strategy to reduce poverty by firing teachers.

He here describes three of the “biggest right-wing lies” about poverty.

They are, first, the belief that economic growth will cure poverty. Our nation has experienced economic growth, but the benefits have enriched those at the top, not the bottom.

Second is the belief that jobs reduce poverty. Jobs are good, says Reich, but there is now a growing number of working poor because of poverty-level wages.

Third is the belief that people are poor because they lack ambition (or grit). But there is no evidence that the poor are responsible for their poverty. Reich says we are one of the few nations that under invests in schools that enroll poor children:

“America is one of only three advanced countries that spends less on the education of poorer children than richer ones, according to a study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

“Among the 34 O.E.C.D. nations, only in the United States, Israel and Turkey do schools serving poor neighborhoods have fewer teachers and crowd students into larger classrooms than do schools serving more privileged students. In most countries, it’s just the reverse: Poor neighborhoods get more teachers per student.”

Other nations have figured out how to reduce poverty. We have not, and our society suffers a loss of talent because of writing off so many people.